There’s a lot of excitement right now about all the amazing video games that debuted this November. We’ve got Batman: Arkham City, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and Skyrim. All of these games have something in common: their incredible graphics. Playing any one of these new titles is like stepping into a lush, highly-detailed world that completely immerses you in its story.
However, serious gamers (or anyone just looking to have fun) will tell you that good graphics are by no means a requirement for an enjoyable, engaging video game.
In fact, one of my favorite video games is one that was released to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) in 1992. What it lacks in stunning graphics and complex gameplay, it makes up for in pure goofy fun. I am, of course, talking about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time.
This side-scrolling arcade-style game features the four turtle brothers whose names any 80s or 90s kid still knows by heart: Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael. Each turtle uses his signature weapon and sports different special moves, which I’m sure most players discovered through vigorous button-mashing (I know I did).
The story is campy and goofy in true Turtles fashion (and let’s face it, anything featuring ninjutsu-practicing turtles can’t take itself too seriously). The evil purple-clad Shredder and his ally Krang, the talking, tentacled brain, have stolen the Statue of Liberty, and it’s up to the turtles to get it back. “Hey Shredder, bring that statue back, you bloated bean bag!” exclaims Leonardo in the opening sequence.
As you can probably tell, the game’s silly premise is matched by equally silly dialogue. My cousins, brother, and I always laughed at the hammy one-liners the bosses threw our way. One of my personal favorites is still “First the sewers, then the world!” How can you not love such unabashed cheesiness?
The classic arcade-style gameplay makes it easy for anyone to jump into the game. The controls are uncomplicated and the goal straightforward: beat up any and all enemies that come your way, keep your health up, and continue moving to the right until a boss appears. Repeat for each stage and enjoy.
In the end, games like Turtles in Time continue to be as fun as they were in the early 90s due to the simple fun they provide. I believe these games will always have a place in the gaming world, even amid today’s deluge of hyper-realistic RPG’s.